Depending on where adolescence found you, you may say bodaboda or borabora, the reader will have to put the term to context. There is no other term as close to give it a second meaning.
I am one of the very many privileged Ugandans who have used the boda (as we prefer to call to it) at all times and at all costs. You know the boda is one of those confidants at each and every time of need; in a rush, emergency, pleasure, leisure or routine.
It may pass without mention for the role it plays in our society, to be specific; in our lives. The boda is a moving theatre of sorts. It gets you thinking, positioning you to re-image yourself in society. Every boda rider has a way of volunteering information to the passenger. Maybe it is part of their ethical code of conduct that may need revision. With the setting of an oral people that we are, conversation does not need to be applied for. One begins for as when they feel.
During the aftermath of the 2016 elections, one of the television stations ran a story of the fake bodaboda riders that were posited at offices and residences of top opposition leaders in this country. And we all know that boda riders are some of the outspoken political commentators with a guaranteed audience sitting just behind him. This came along with the allegation that not all the boda riders were necessarily on the job. Some had been deployed to carry out research for certain firms in Kampala.
Between 2012 and 2014, there were so many cases of iron bar hit-men who also worked as boda riders but shelving ill intentions. In a country where there are no regulations to such a very big arm of the transport industry, a lot is left to be desired. However the precaution is mainly left in the hands of the passenger, you and I.
Being the ardent boda user that I am, I have chosen to arm self with precaution. Whenever I am using a boda, I am slow with response to whatever tribe of conversation thrown to me. You never know who this rider is and what they want of you. The bodaboda market, like any other welcomes anyone with very open arms as long as one can ride the motorcycle. And unfortunately there is no distinction between a motor bike used for the boda business and that for personal or private use. They all look alike. So you can never know the intentions of this person sitting in front of you manning the monster machine.
Jimmy will always sort me. Apart from the random rides that I get there and here, I rely on Jimmy for my rides. For more than seven years, Jimmy has been a bodaboda cyclist and that is his day and night job. I call him up for all my planned rides especially when I know I will be moving late at night. I find relying on him calming and of great reward to me. Did I tell you he offers me rides on credit? Yes he is that awesome.
I can never be in control of all the things that happen to me but for those little ones that I can, I try. We live in a world where we are always chasing something. And you can never tell when or who is chasing you. Maybe your chaser is the boda rider in front of you!
image by monitor.co.ug